Teenage Formula 3 racer Sophia Floersch has come through surgery without complications following the horrifying high-speed crash which left her with a fractured spine at the weekend.
Early on in Sunday’s race Floersch, 17, hit a rival car on the flat-out run down to Lisboa corner. That caused her to lose control of her own vehicle, which spun out of control towards the right-hander.
When she reached the apex she was launched over the car of Sho Tsuboi, catapulting her into the barrier. Data from the circuit recorded her speed shortly before impact at 276 km/h.
Floersch was in surgery for seven hours on Monday and the boss of her Van Amersfoort Racing team, Frits van Amersfoort, says the process went well.
“Everything is working and everything is in order,” Van Amersfoort told the BBC World Service. “[Paralysis] was the main fear.
“That’s why the operation had to be done quite quickly because there was a danger it [her spinal cord] could be damaged. We are extremely happy that she is now recovering and that everything went extremely well. There’s no fear of paralysis whatsoever.”
Earlier on Monday, Floersch’s twitter account posted in German: “The medical team is deliberately working slowly to avoid risks. The previous surgical course is good and without complications. The surgery that began this morning continues.”
She will remain in hospital for another two weeks after the surgery.
Floersch’s car hit an area populated with photographers and race marshals, and four others were sent to hospital with Floersch. The driver of the car Floersch vaulted over, Sho Tsuboi, was sent for lumbar pain but was discharged on Sunday.
An injured marshal, Chan Cha In, suffered a laceration of the face and a fractured jaw. Two photographers at the corner were also taken to hospital — Chan Weng Wang sustained a liver laceration and is expected to remain in hospital for another 10 days, while Hiroyuki Minami suffered a concussion and has since been released.